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Monday, 20 November, 2000, 22:10 GMT
TV quiz makes jackpot history
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Mrs Keppel is the first person on British TV to win 1m
Judith Keppel, a distant cousin of Camilla Parker Bowles, has made TV history to become the first person to win 1m on ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Mrs Keppel, 58, scooped her prize - which is also the biggest in British TV history - in a nailbiting contest shown on ITV at 2100GMT on Monday.

Now in its eighth series, the show is one of the UK's most popular programmes but, until Mrs Keppel, no-one had walked off with the top prize.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Mrs Keppel needed no help on the last question

Mrs Keppel is a garden designer from Fulham in London. She is married to a TV scriptwriter and has two grown-up children.

She said she felt "wonderful" and "rich" after her big win, adding that it was nonetheless something of a surprise.

"I'm not a gambler. I'm the opposite of gambling. I've never really won any money before," she told reporters.

Triumph

Mrs Keppel is said to be descended from Alice Keppel, mistress of Edward VII and great-grandmother of Mrs Parker Bowles.

On Saturday, she reached 16,000 before the show ended, having used up her Ask The Audience lifeline.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Viewers were left with Saturday's cliffhanger

She turned to them for help when stumped by the question: "Prime Minister Tony Blair was born in which country?" (A. Scotland.)

On Monday night - filmed on Sunday - she continued her winning streak by answering six more questions correctly.

She sealed her triumph with the question: "Which King was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine?"

Click here to see the million-pound answer

Ratings

The show's previous top prize-winner was mother-of-two Kate Heusser who won 500,000 at the beginning of the month.

News that someone had finally won the jackpot on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? was leaked before the show was broadcast.

It is expected to have created a fierce ratings battle between the BBC and ITV on Monday night between 9pm and 10pm.

One Foot in the Grave
Viewers were expected to be keen to say goodbye to Victor Meldrew

The quiz show's big win was pitched against the last episode of One Foot in the Grave on BBC One - in which central character Victor Meldrew meets his end.

Fans of the hit BBC sitcom had known for some time about Victor's impending demise in a hit-and-run accident.

Millions were therefore expected to tune in to bid their favourite grumpy pensioner a fond farewell after 10 years on the small screen.

Official viewing figures for Monday's ratings battle are released on Tuesday.


A. Henry II

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See also:

20 Nov 00 | Europe
Briton flush with 1m poker prize
03 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Millionaire contestant wins 500,000
13 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Wilson mellow after Meldrew
15 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Both feet in the grave
20 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Questions on the path to 1m
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